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A Family Trip to Mystic, Connecticut

The town of Mystic, Connecticut makes a great base for exploring all that the Connecticut shore has to offer. Many attractions are open all year but some are seasonal, so it’s a good idea to call ahead to avoid disappointment. Here’s a sampling of what your family will find in town.

1. Old Houses. They may not be tops on your kids' itinerary, but the old sea captain homes that line the narrow streets of Mystic make for great views while walking or driving through town. Tell the kids to keep an eye out for homes with widow’s walks- structures built so that women could keep an eye out for loved ones returning from sea voyages.

2. Mystic Seaport. This is a must-see, especially for maritime-loving kids. The museum is the best of its kind in the country (some say in the world). Young kids will enjoy the Art Spot, the wooden play boats, and the children’s museum. Older kids and adults enjoy strolling the streets of the recreated fishing village and visiting the working shipyard. There are also a number of docked ships to explore.

3. Mystic Aquarium. This is one of the best aquariums in the country. Highlights include beluga whales, a Titanic exhibit, and a ray touch pool. The aquarium has both indoor and outdoor displays, but it may be best to visit on a warm day so the kids can see the belugas and other outdoor displays without freezing. Be sure to catch a dolphin or sea lion show while you’re there.

4. Old Mistick Village. When you’re ready for souvenirs, this is the place to go. Dozens of New England style shops are spread around winding paths where you’ll find duck ponds, toy shops, restaurants, and unique specialty stores.

5. Get out on the water. There are several options: Mystic Seaport offers guided cruises and rowboat or sailboat rentals, Voyager Cruises offers sunset and other themed cruises, land lovers can take in a watery-themed IMAX show at the aquarium.

6. Visit a Cider Mill. If you visit Mystic in the summer or fall, take the time to stop in at B.F. Clyde’s Cider Mill. Depending on when you visit you may be able to watch the cider making process. Even if you can’t watch the mill in action, be sure to pick up some of their fantastic homemade pies, cider donuts, and other treats.

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